Critical Writing Index

Idle No More

by T.J. Demos

Camera Austria, 2013, v. 124, pp. 71-72

Watching Ursula Biemann's video-essay "Deep Weather" (2013), we confront a post-apocalyptic landscape delivered to us by fossil-fuel capitalism and its latest attempts to recover increasingly difficult-to-extract deposits of dirty oil. An aerial camera slowly pans across the land, its organic contours appearing through a haze of pollution. Drawing closer to the land scarred with machine tracks and dark pools of acidic liquid, the video shows miners dressed in yellow coveralls, punctuating the otherwise mucky ground. This video is paired with "hydro-geographies", particularly one found in coastal Bangladesh. This second half depicts a multitude of people contributing to the construction of an artificial embankment to protect against storm surges, in stark contrast to Alberta's extraction sites.

Keywords: northern canada, tar sands, oil extraction, interconnected geographies, political ecology

ITEM 2013.108 – available for viewing in the Research Centre

Videos, Artworks and Artists Cited

Deep WeatherUrsula Biemann